The Richest Man in Oxford

at Exeter Hall & Online

This will be an Hybrid meeting with the speaker in Exeter Hall and the talk live streamed over Zoom.   The Hall will open at 7:15pm (UK Time) with the talk starting at 8pm.   The Zoom element will start at 7:55 pm.

Speaker: Gareth Winrow

Summary: ‘The Richest Man in Oxford’: James Ryman of Summerhill Villa, Summertown – From very humble origins, James Ryman (c1795-1880) rapidly rose up the social ladder to become a famous art dealer. He benefitted from the marriage of one of his sisters to a brother of the well-known local art collector, James Wyatt. Ryman’s art shop on the High Street in Oxford, was much-frequented by the likes of J.M.W. Turner, John Ruskin and Lewis Carroll. At ease socialising with the luminaries of the Victorian art world, as an art dealer Ryman was commissioned by the rich and famous. Ryman used his wealth to radically reconfigure the house and expanding estate at Summerhill Villa and play an important role in the history of Summertown. A generous supporter of charitable causes, Ryman opened his pleasure gardens for charity events, garden shows, parties for school children and cricket matches. The estate became an important social hub for the residents of Summertown. After his death, Ryman’s nephew, Frank Ryman Hall, continued to open the estate for the locals. James Ryman had no children, but several of his nephews became heavily involved in the print selling business. Summerhill still stands as part of the D’Overbroeck’s School.

Speaker Background: Gareth lived and worked in Istanbul in Turkey for 20 years where he was a Professor of International Relations working at two universities. He returned to the UK in 2008 and worked as a tutor in the Dept. for Continuing Education at Oxford University. He has also worked as a political risk analyst and as a consultant. More recently, Gareth has focused on local, social and family history. He is the author of the book, ‘Whispers Across Continents: In Search of the Robinsons’ (Amberley 2019). His latest book published by The Book Guild this year is titled, ‘The Butcher, The Tailor, The Picture-Frame Maker…Stories of Middle Way’.

To attend the meeting over zoom you have to register using the link in the Members’ Area here.

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